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THE NEW YORK TIMES, MONDAY, JUNE 28, 1975 


Professor Asserts F.B.L Covered Up 
Typewriter Evidence Helpful to Hiss 


BV MOLLY IVINS victed of P er i ur >’ and spent al- 

I most four years in prison for 

' John Lowenthal, Rutgers : ]iaving denied that when he 
University law proiessor who , was a state Department official 
has acted at times as AI.^cr j-, e given copies of classified 
Hiss’s lawyer, asserts. that new-; Government papers to' Mr. 
ly released F.B.f. documentsichambers 
show that the agency covered; The Woodstock typewriter 
up evidence helpful to Mr. Hiss, u . as one of the centra! elements 
concerning the date of the; man-; in the case from tire beginning, 
ufacture of the Woodstock The Government said the copies 
typewriter in the case. j of classified documents pro- 

( However, Prof.^ Allen J*Vein- duceci by Mr. Chambers, who 
stein of Smith College, who has ; teS tifjed they had been stoien 
also studied the Federal Bu-; for him by Mr. Hiss, had been 
reau of Investigation docu- : typed on the same machine as 
ments, believes that the memosi sonie 0 t<j Hiss family letters, 
on which Professor Lowenthal ryhe Government and the Hiss 


bases his assertion were writ 
ten by an agent who was try- 
ing to excuse himself for slop- 
py work, and that Professor 
Lowentiial has ignored contra- 
dictory evidence in the F. B. I. 
documents. 

Professor Lowenthal wrote 
in the June 26 issue of The Na- 
tion: 

“The F.B.I. has just disclosed 
that it had evidence, even be- 
fore the Hiss perjury trials be- 
gan, that Woodstock No. 230099 
was not the Hiss family type- 
writer. Had this evidence be 


defejpe team spent some time 
searching frantically for the old 
typewriter. An old Woodstock 
was eventually located and 
brought in by the defense, 
whicli believed it to be the 
family machine. 

Defense Contention ■ 
The defense contended the 
family typewriter had been, 
given away before the Hisses 
changed residences at the end 
of 1937. Professor Lowenthal 
noted that if the Hisses could 
prove that the machine had 


disclosed befoie the trials, itifceen disposed of before the 
might well have severed a vital [dates on the Chambers docu- 
! link in the Government's caselments — which were Jan. 5 
against Hiss, by discrediting -thel through April 1, 193S — that 
opinion of ’expert’ documentjwould show the documents had 
examiners that the incriminat-lnot been typed by Mrs. Hiss at 
ing papers had been typed on [home — as Mr. Chambers 


[the same machine used for typ- 
ing some old Hiss family let- 
ters.” 

Mr. Hiss was president of the 
Carnegie Endowment for Inter- 


charged. 

Ironically, the Government 
used the typewriter found by 
the defense to bolster its case. 
Professor Lowenthal points out 


national Peace in 19-18 when j that the Government document 
Whittaker Chambers, a former; expert never testified that the 
spy for the Soviet Union, ac-j documents were typed on No. 
cused him of having been parti 230099, although the prosecu- 
of. a Communist espionage! tor, in his summation to the 
group. [jury, stated- the expert had 

AfLer a first trial ended in a done so. The judge at the sec- 
deadlock, Mr. Hiss was con-iond trial also instructed the 


ijury that No. 230099 was the 
[Hiss family typewriter. 

| However, Professor Lowen- 
i trial quotes an F.B.I. memo re- 
'cently obtained under the Free- 
dom of Information Act that 
isays, “the definite possibility 
exists this typewriter [Wood- 
stock No. 230099] is not the 
[one received by Priscilla Hiss 
[from her father, Thomas Fans- 
tier.*’ 

j The memo was written by a 
[Special Agent Boardman, then 
jin Philadelphia, apparently Le- 
jland V. Boardman, who retired 
[from the bureau in 1959. 
j Records of Manufacture 
j At least some of the F.B.L’s 
[research showed that accord- 
ling to records of manufacture 
[and sale, Mr. Fansler bought 
ihis Woodstock in 1927 and No. 
; 230099 was not made until 
[1929 or 1930. 

| If No. 230099 was not in 
[fact the Hiss typewriter and 
Ithe F.B.I. knew it, that would 
[invalidate the prosecutor’s as- 
sertion that the documents 
[were typed on the “Hiss” 
‘machine. However, Professor 
[Weinstein, who has been in 
Europe and had not read Pro- 
cessor I.owenthal’s article, said 
[his research showed the F.B.I. 
never was sure when No. 230099 
:was made, that agents con- 
tinued to test machines made 
from the early' 1920’3 to the 
[early 1 930’s. He also said the 
[F.B.I. was no! certain of the 
[year in which the Wcadslock 
[was sold to Mr. Fansler. 

! Of the memo written by 
Mr. Boardman concerning ■ the 
[“definite possibility” that No. 
230099 was not the right type- 
, writer. Professor Weinstein 
said. “The memo was written 
at a time when the F.B.I. still 
:hacl a great deal of egg on its 
iface for not having found the 
[machine. [J. Fuigar] Hoover was 
[blowing a gasket and threaten- 
ing to transfer agents and they' 
were all writing apologias, 
exculpatory memos.” 

Mr. Hiss, who has con- 
sistently insisted that he is 
innocent of all charges and has 
been seeking to clear his name, 
believes the new evidence is 
highly significant. “This knocks 
out the "corroboration of the 
Government rase and they 
must have known it all along,” 
•he. said in a telephone inter- 
tview last week. 

! "If we had known it then, 


it ne case ne\ 
gone to the tu 
have avoided ■ 
liogwash over 
well as comb 
fort to me." 


r would have 
, and we could 
he!! of a lor of 

,easlbe discom-